Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bear witness

Revolt and protest in Iran, and the world follows the news via Twitter and Google and other networking sites on the Internet. How cool is that?

I don't Twitter or tweet or even read email on my phone. Yet. The idea of sending moment-by-moment messages to friends about where I'm going and what I'm doing doesn't appeal to me--much. Being able to go and not tell someone where is more appealing.

Of course, I don't think any of my friends would actually want to follow me around in my life in suburbia. Nor do I want to follow them. On the other hand, it would have been nice yesterday to be able to tweet out for support as I was slowly overwhelmed by Michael's, the chain store for crafters, where a million or more objects wait for someone to purchase them and then wire, glue or knot them together.

Nor should I be allowed to tweet from meetings, like a senator from the Senate floor. Griping about proceedings and people would be way too much fun. When I pray the Lord's Prayer, I ask not to be led into temptation. I believe it behooves me to not lead myself there.

But following a mass movement of people protesting a stolen election? Yesterday I followed some of the links in a New York Times article on social networking and the events in Iran. It was amazing. Ordinary people were passing on information about protests and calling for people to unite. There were pictures on Flickr of massive crowds in the streets. Stuff happens.

Imagine if we could have read messages from East Germany as communism tumbled. Imagine a blog post from an "Indian" just returned from dumping chests of tea in Boston Harbor. Imagine the almost infinite source material available to historians in the future who want to write about mass movements and popular culture.

The world can change in good ways and bad. Pray for peoples and governments. Pray that we use technology to move us forward into the kingdom of God.

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